Tens of thousands of Argentines protested on Wednesday against a Supreme Court ruling that could decrease jail time for those convicted of human rights abuses during the country’s 1976 – 1983 military dictatorship that killed as many as 30,000 people. The ruling was widely criticized, including by President Mauricio Macri, and Congress passed a law earlier on Wednesday to block future reductions of sentences for killings, torture, kidnappings and other human rights violations during the so-called Dirty War.
“Judges: Never again. No free genocidists,” read banners in the Plaza de Mayo of Buenos Aires.
The Supreme Court’s May 3 decision ruled in favor of Luis Muiña, who was sentenced in 2011 to 13 years in jail for kidnapping and torturing five people during the dictatorship.
The court said a law known locally as “two for one” that allows every day spent in jail before a final sentence to count for two days when more than two years have been served, could apply for human rights cases.
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“I would like to congratulate the Congress for the speed at which it resolved the legal vacuum left by this unfortunate 2-for-1 law,” Macri said in a press conference earlier on Wednesday. “I am against any tool that is in favor of impunity, more so when this tool is applied to crimes against humanity.”